Cuisine Master’s out-of-this-world soup bases and attentive wait staff brings hot pot meals to a new high.
The local hot pot culture is usually a slightly messy affair with misplaced utensils strewn here and there, unintentional saliva-swapping and, most irksome of all, over (or under) cooked morsels of food.
At Cuisine Master, a high‐end gourmet hot pot restaurant chain from Beijing newly opened at Boat Quay in March, the experience is slightly different. It was founded by Master Chef Zhong Li Wen, one of China’s top 10 chefs, and this is its first overseas branch, co-owned by a Singaporean who bought franchising rights after he fell in love with its signature Golden Soup—more below.
At our lunch media tasting, our meal started off with a pretty serving of fruits, yummy refillable appetizers and aperitifs while waiting for the soups to reach a simmer. Order a Chinese wine and the wait staff will educate you with interesting details about the features on the tableware.
The highlight is no doubt the Golden Soup base, a super-rich stock made from old hen and ducks slow-cooked over 10 hours for an almost-creamy consistency dripping with collagen and all the good things that come in slow-cooked soup; it tasted like those luxurious Buddha-Jump-Over-The-Wall soups but more impressively is the promise that the soup is MSG and additive-free.
A vegetarian option would be the clear Mushroom Soup, prepared with 10 types of imported exotic mushrooms including the wild Desert Mushroom strain, according to the press release. It is as light as the Golden Soup is luxuriously thick, both equally flavorful and savory.
Both are left to simmer in a fully-automated hot pot housed in the center of a marble table, in an intricate copper “ding” designed with ventilation side-grills to whisk away smoke as it rises so you don’t leave the place smelling like you’ve just been to the food court.
Our Abalone Banquet set (S$118) included scallop with prawn and grouper, kangaroo meat (which tasted more or less like beef), short ribs, shrimp and fishballs, a mixed mushroom platter and vegetable noodles, the last of which was served in the same soup that had been simmering in front of us, which by now had thickened to an even richer treat (our meal was capped at both ends with a before and after-cooking version of the soup).
The wait staff does all the cooking, so that means perfectly cooked food while your hands are free to pick at the appetizers and focus your attention on the conversation at the table.
With menus ranging from noodle dishes to six-course executive lunch sets (S$48) and five nine‐course set menus from S$78 to S$198 per pax, it makes a viable option for special occasions and a dining experience to remember.
Cuisine Master Hot Pot
68 Boat Quay,
+65 6438 9979
Closed on Sundays